And the Oscar Goes To… (Official 2014 Predictions)

A lot of people love to hate on the Academy Awards, why? Because, to them, it’s a lot of very wealthy and self-absorbed people patting their own backs. But I choose not to see it that way.oscars-2014-ellen-poster__140108193621-575x851

I love movies, and I know the Academy and all of its nominees do too. Sure, there is Kate Hudson (the daughter of Goldie Hawn), or Charlie Sheen (the son of Martin Sheen), and don’t even get me started on Willow and Jaden Smith… but 9 times out of 10, these filmmakers were born into “regular” lives with a simple dream: to make movies.

Maybe it happened by chance or maybe it took a lot of handwork and sacrifice… regardless, I know they love film and so do I. It is, by far, my favorite form of art, expression, and storytelling, and the Academy Awards is a chance to celebrate peoples’ love for film and the talent that goes into them.

This post has been months in the making and one I consider both thrilling and challenging to write. So put your critiquing goggles on and let me know, who do you think will win? Who do you think was forgotten? Any predictions I’m way off on?

Also, I did not have time and/or money to view any of the foreign films, documentary features, or short films. If you’ve seen any of these and have recommendations please let me know, thank you!

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***** VISUAL EFFECTS *****

And the nominees are…

  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity

And the runner up is…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

la_ca_1217_the_hobbitI’m going to start off by noting, the makers of Gravity will be doing a lot of walking up and down stage come Oscar Sunday. I can’t keep myself from quoting Peter Rosenthal of the Onion, because his satire filled review summed this movie up perfectly. He found Gravity to be “so immersive and visually stunning, it has driven everyone who has watched it violently mad.” Yup… this movie is bonkers (I mean that in the best way possible) and I was not the same, for at least 48 hours, after seeing Gravity. So… visual effects? Yup, you deserve this 133%.

Even still, I’m a sucker for Middle-Earth and was very pleased to see Peter step his game up for The Desolation of Smaug; the dragon was no match for Sandra Bullock floating around helplessly in an infinite abyss, but Smaug is still my favorite dragon to date and one of the best film villains of the year; beautifully done.

Watch the Onion’s review… because it’s right: 

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***** SOUND MIXING & SOUND EDITING *****

And the nominees are…

  • All is Lost (Editing)
  • Captain Phillips (Mixing & Editing)
  • Gravity (Mixing & Editing)
  • The Hobbit (Mixing & Editing)
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (Mixing)
  • Lone Survivor (Mixing & Editing)

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity & Gravity

And the runner up is…

The Hobbit & Lone Survivor

ff62778905cc710e7524f5e5c6d5490bDid you know that there is no sound in space? Yet Gravity has pulled off the use of sound mixing and editing to scare the living hell out of me. Way to go guys. While I find war movies to be the best platform for good sound editing and mixing, Gravity has once again blown my mind. I’m still giving The Hobbit a fair shout out, because it can’t be easy mixing a fantastic score with arrows flying, axes swinging, and multilingual dialogue… and should I even mention Bilbo running through that pile of gold with a Dragon chasing after him? …just had to have a fan moment there, sorry guys.

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***** ORIGINAL SONG *****

And the nominees are…

  • Happy (Despicable Me 2)
  • Let It Go (Frozen)
  • The Moon Song (Her)
  • Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

And the Oscar goes to…

Let It Go from Frozen

And the runner up is…

Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Disney-Frozen-New-Animated-Clip-Let-It-Go1What an amazing group of nominated songs, but I think Let It Go has this one in the bag. Not only do I sing this song regularly in the shower, but it really achieves above and beyond what a song should be in a movie. A song should evoke emotion, help tell a story or develop a character, and leave a lasting impression. The Moon Song in Her did those same things, but looking back I don’t think it deserves it more than Ordinary Love. And Happy? Catchy tune, Pharrell, it’s about time. Most importantly, I know Frozen belongs on stage and I can not wait for it to be converted to theater.

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***** ORIGINAL SCORE *****

And the nominees are…

  • The Book Thief
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Philomena
  • Saving Mr. Banks

And the Oscar goes to…

Her

And the runner up is…

Gravity

20131205_her_theatricaltrailer2Best Original Score is deserving of a movie where I walk out of the theater, go home, and download the soundtrack immediately. And I only did that with one: Her. This movie is absolutely beautiful and one of my favorites of the year; it left a huge impression on me and would not have done so without its beautiful soundtrack. Quiet and understated, yet powerful. I think the Academy is loving hard on Gravity this year and I won’t be surprised if they take home the gold in this category for its eerie and beautiful score, but I have a full and dedicated vote to the latter.

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***** MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING *****

And the nominees are…

  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • The Lone Ranger

And the Oscar goes to…

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

And the runner up is…

Dallas Buyers Club

jackass-presents-bad-grandpa-received-an-oscar-nominationThe makeup and hairstyling category is near and dear to me as a cosmetologist myself, so I was a bit apprehensive to watch Bad Grandpa. I only got about 45 minutes into the movie when I felt I did enough research… and yes, the prosthetics were pretty amazing. Even still, the talented team of artists who worked on Knoxville are not enough for to recommend the movie… to anyone. Dallas Buyers Club is a more respectable candidate but, I gotta say, they didn’t have any prosthetic balls. I think the Academy was way off on this one… they forgot The Hobbit AND American Hustle… I mean, really? Evangeline Lily’s ears? Bradley Coopers curls? I’m a little upset.

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***** COSTUME DESIGN *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman
  • 12 Years a Slave

And the Oscar goes to…

American Hustle

And the runner up is…

The Great Gatsby

Amy Adams;Jennifer LawrenceI’ve changed my mind on this one about three times… my heart tells me Gatsby, with it’s unique and modern twist on one of the most beautiful decades in fashion, yet my mind is telling me American Hustle. Frankly, I think both movies deserve it because the costumes were all to die for and made me yearn for a different time. Well done.

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***** PRODUCTION DESIGN *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • Gravity
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • 12 Years a Slave

And the Oscar goes to…

The Great Gatsby

And the runner up is…

American Hustle

the-great-gatsby-image03This is how I’ve redeemed myself from the last category; Gatsby, this one’s for you. Your magic has faded away since last spring, but I have not forgotten the gorgeous sets. Maybe it’s a bigger nod for special effects, but I’m still giving you a well deserved pat on the back. All the nominees are strong contenders, but the period pieces always seem to win over in the end. The sets of Her were an awkwardly futuristic yet realistic take, which I also appreciated completely.

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***** EDITING *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity

And the runner up is…

Captain Phillips

1e2c2d8edddf055ce4d2c8c52d3cd40dWe’re not even half way through and I’m already tired of complimentary Gravity on being… awesome. So I’ll keep it short and sweet: good editing should feel seamless, natural, and help tell a story… both Gravity and Captain Phillips’ post production team supported that “edge of your seat” feeling. Another similarity between films was the enclosed or trapped feeling that would be challenging to edit too, so props. Four guys stuck in a tiny enclosed boat for half the movie? Yeah, that’s rough.

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***** CINEMATOGRAPHY *****

And the nominees are…

  • The Grandmaster
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity

And the runner up is…

Inside Llewyn Davis

inside_llewyn_davisAnother head/heart scenario… Inside Llewyn Davis really deserves this win. It’s a subtle and quirky story, and the quietness of the plot really gave space for creativity elsewhere. The cinematography was truly impeccable and very noticeable, but I do believe Gravity will take the gold here as well.

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***** ANIMATED FEATURE *****

And the nominees are…

  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Celestine
  • Frozen
  • The Wind Rises

And the Oscar goes to…

Frozen

And the runner up is…

The Wind Rises

full-trailer-for-disneys-frozen-06If you haven’t already read my review for Frozen, follow the link below, but I must disclaim that it was written from an ethical standpoint. As far as entertainment goes, Frozen is the winner x10 here. I’ve seen it twice and, though it rubs me the wrong way from time to time, it was still a blast and something I will probably watch again and again. And as I mentioned earlier, this movie absolutely belongs on Broadway and I plan to see it as soon possible.

Read my review of Frozen here: https://helloquarterlifecrisis.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/maternal-instincts-or-inner-feminist-my-review-of-the-movie-frozen/

As far as the other nominees go, well I honestly didn’t see any of them. I watched the trailers and have to give my runner up prediction to The Wind Rises because of it’s stunning animation. It’s refreshing to see. An English version of The Wind Rises is being released in the U.S. soon and I plan on seeing it then.

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***** ADAPTED SCREENPLAY *****

And the nominees are…

  • Before Midnight
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

And the Oscar goes to…

Philomena

And the runner up is…

12 Years a Slave

Philomena-6This was a tough call for me, and I may very well be wrong. While I haven’t read any of the original material these screenplays were adapted from, I think both Philomena and 12 Years a Slave deserve it equally. So who will win? We’ll just have to wait and see. All I have to say is, although 12 Years a Slave was a very important and powerful story to tell, that left me feeling a bit weak and crumbly, Philomena’s general dialogue and character development was impeccable. Two beautiful stories told very well.

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***** ORIGNAL SCREENPLAY *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska

And the Oscar goes to…

Her

And the runner up is…

Dallas Buyers Club

HerIf Her does not win this award, I am going to be very upset. Way too funny, clever, beautiful, unique, and so on and so forth… I just really want this to win. Dallas Buyers Club was also very well done, of course, and being a big Woody fan I have to shout out to Blue Jasmine as well. All wonderful screenplays, but Spike Jonze needs this win.

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***** SUPPORTING ACTRESS *****

And the nominees are…

  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)

And the Oscar goes to…

Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave

And the runner up is…

Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

wpid-Jennifer-Lawrence-American-Hustle-04J. Law, I’m sorry. I feel like we’re friends, BFFs, even soul mates… and you nailed your character perfectly. A small role, yet so complex. But, Lupita knocked this one out of the park. Her role was passionate and painful, and I hope to see more of her in the future.

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***** SUPPORTING ACTOR *****

And the nominees are…

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

And the Oscar goes to…

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

And the runner up is…

Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave

dallas_buyers_club_jared_leto_-_h_-_2013Firstly, major shout out to Minnesota’s very own Barkhad Abdi! A true talent and kind of adorable… but so menacing. You are a fine actor! Anyways, another obvious category in my eyes and something that I feel slightly entitled to. Since watching Jared Leto’s breakthrough performance in Requiem for a Dream, I always felt there would be something great in his future with powerful performances. I’ve been a modest fan of his band and have checked in on him for time to time throughout the years, and this was the performance I was waiting for. He is so deserving of this and he played his character so perfectly.

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***** BEST ACTRESS *****

And the nominees are…

  • Amy Adams (American Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

And the Oscar goes to…

Cate Blanchett  in Blue Jasmine

And the runner up is…

Sandra Bullock in Gravity

blue_jasmine_465Maybe I’m bias, but I have an extreme obsession for Cate Blanchett. She is everything an actress should be… mega talented, beautiful, graceful, classy, mega talented (again,) and very Elvish. Her performance was kind of perfect and only made me love her so much more. However, Sandra Bullock really deserves a big pat on the back for hyperventilating regularly… who knows how many brain cells she lost!

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***** BEST ACTOR *****

And the nominees are…

  • Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

And the Oscar goes to…

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

And the runner up is…

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave

A disheveled Matthew McConaughey gets arrested in scenes for 'The Dallas Buyers Club' in New OrleansThis could  be the closest race of the night… two amazing characters and two incredible performances. The reason I think McConaughey will win is because, well, he’s really turned it around lately. From Failure to Launch to Fool’s Gold… McConaughey was nothing more than a failure and a fool (see what I did there?) I had no respect for the guy. But he truly became serious, rewrote his own destiny, and gained my respect. I think  he gained the Academy’s respect as well. If you want more of McConaughey, I’d recommend Mud. Oh and, sorry Leo, this isn’t your year… again.

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***** DIRECTOR *****

And the nominees are…

  • David O. Russell (American Hustle)
  • Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  • Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
  • Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  • Martin Scorcese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

And the Oscar goes to…

Alfonso Cuaron  for Gravity

And the runner up is…

David O. Russell for American Hustle

1e2c2d8edddf055ce4d2c8c52d3cd40dIt’s obvious that Alfonso Cuaron deserves this award… his movie was groundbreaking and incredibly coordinated in all of its nominated categories. Gravity has proven to be a frontrunner and none of that could have happened without his incredible talent, vision, and direction. He has raised the bar big time.

I loved American Hustle, but I’ve always compared it to Silver Linings Playbook and feel that it wasn’t up to par. Even still, O. Russell has shown his skill and I am anxiously awaiting his next project. The Departed (Best Picture winner in 2006) is one of my favorite movies of all time, and Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street was also not up to par in my book. All very talented nominees but I find this year’s winner to be apparent.

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***** BEST PICTURE *****

And the nominees are…

  • American HustleAMF_0798 (211 of 292).NEF
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

And the Oscar goes to…

12 Years a Slave

And the runner up is…

Dallas Buyers Club & Gravity

Most Loved Movie…

Her

12_years_a_slave_featured1-618x400When I think about what makes a movie deserving of Best Picture, I consider it to be one that is thoroughly well done in all categories while being entertaining or impressionable as a whole. So with that said, it’s obvious that Gravity deserves a major nod, especially since I’ve predicted they take home 6-8 other awards. But do I really believe Gravity will take home the gold? Not quite… sure, the movie was groundbreaking and beautiful (what an understatement,) but I think voters are going to honor a different type of film this year.

While Gravity is very deserving, my biggest struggle has been between Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave. Both are especially driven through powerful storytelling and incredible acting, and if you haven’t seen them yet… go, go now. As a whole, I truly enjoyed Dallas Buyers Club more and it had a longer lasting impression on me, but I believe the Academy’s votes will be for 12 Years a Slave. All three of these movies are so deserving and will be the frontrunners for most wins come Oscar Sunday, but there is one movie I really need to commend.

I have a vague understanding for how the Academy works in voting… it’s filmmakers voting for other filmmakers, so I keep that in mind with most of my predictions. And if I was in the Academy, I probably would vote for Dallas Buyers Club because it’s a huge contender and one I find very deserving. But of all the movies this year, Her has been my favorite and a something everyone needs to see. Every piece was in place; a beautiful score, fantastic sets, an incredible screenplay that had me laughing hysterically and crying quietly, perfect casting, and a magical story. Everything was so detail oriented and seamless and downright almost perfect. 12 Years and Dallas Buyers are both important historical stories… but Her is new, unique, special, beautiful. It might be nominated for less awards, but it gave me so much as a viewer. Miracles do happen… maybe they will win! But regardless Her has won in my book.

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So, have you seen the movies? What do you think? Who do you think will win? Who do you think is most deserving? You still have a week to see any final movies… so here are my final recommendations:

The movies you need to see regardless: Her and Gravity (preferably in theaters)

Movies to cover the most bases: 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club

If you like witty: watch American Hustle before The Wolf of Wall Street

If you like suspense: see Gravity before Captain Phillips (although both are great)

If you like quiet and understated: watch Philomena before Nebraska (or skip Nebraska altogether…)

Other movies to see:

If you like powerful acting: August: Osage County (though kind of a downer) and Blue Jasmine

If you want something alternative: Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis

If you want something for the whole family: Frozen and The Hobbit

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So print out your ballot (http://www.moviefone.com/oscars-academy-awards/nominee-winner/printable-ballot) and cast your votes, then tell me your top picks in the comments below!

And don’t forget to tune into the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd!

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Jewelry Turned Artwork DIY

Framed Jewelry Hanger

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An affordable and practical way to organize and display your jewelry – particularly bulky or long necklaces that are the most difficult to store and protect! Enjoy 🙂

Budget & Supplies:1654825_596899117052621_708304904_n

  • Frame – $5 from Craigslist (thrifted)
  • 7/8″ White Cup Hooks – $3 from Target
  • Hammer
  • Large screw or hook to hang frame
  • 1 nail (optional)

Steps & Tips:

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  1. Based on jewelry collection, decide how many hooks you need, and plan accordingly
  2. Use hammer to gently hammer first hook into centermost point -OR- hammer a nail halfway down and remove, then replace nail with hook and complete installation (Hammering in the hooks would cause them to bend, so using a nail first helped a lot!)
  3. Space hooks out evenly (at least a 1/2″ apart) until complete
  4. Decide where to hang your frame that is practical and easy to get to on a daily basis, place screw or hook accordingly
  5. Hang jewelry on hooks, interval between “long jewelry” and “bulky jewelry,” as this is more aesthetically pleasing and allows plenty of space for each piece to hang
  6. Carefully hang your frame up and enjoy your new piece of artwork!

I had so much success with this cheap and easy 15-30 minute project that I plan to do something similar for my bracelets and rings… any ideas on how to do this? Also, if you try this project at home post your success stories + pictures below!

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Throwback Thursday: A Poem as a Present 6/13

I’ve never been a huge fan of Throwback Thursday, but I’ve decided to look at it as an opportunity. I am dedicating the first Thursday of every month to looking back on previously written material.

My dearest nephew, Theo, is very sick and unhappy right now. So, in honor of him feeling better soon, I’m posting the poem I wrote for him when his little sister, Rosie, was born. I’m only “throwing back” about 8 months, but enjoy it all the same:

Brother Meets Sister

This is Theodore, he’s a little past one,

And to momma and poppa he is a son…

He’s also a nephew and a grandson too,

“But who is that?” He hears a cry and a coo.

“This is Rosalynn, she’s your baby sister,

And that makes you a brother to her.”

“But what is a brother? What am I to do?”

“You will love her as she will always love you.”

A brother is there to show you right ways,

To comfort and laugh with on the bad days,

There to explore with and learn with and grow,

You’ll have each other, that’s what you’ll know.

“But what is a sister? Who is little Rosie?”

Rosie’s your sister, our daughter, so cozy!

But just you wait, because just like you,

She’ll grow big and strong just as you grew.

She’ll laugh and cry and wiggle and squiggle,

And you’ll slowly learn how to make her giggle.

You’ll explore and find adventure together as two,

In the park, in the pool, at home, or the zoo.

And even if you fight, at the end of the day,

You’ll still love each other in grey or in play.

So never forget what your sibling’s there for:

To be there for you always, to love and adore.

 With Love from Auntie Holli ❤

We Don’t Miss You, January

In Minnesota, we’re pretty cold most of the year, and with the cold comes a lot more than fluffy mittens, cozy blankets, and crackling fires.
21 Signs That Winter Is Coming

We’re talking about days that end before they begin, constant cloud cover, runny noses, chapped hands, and don’t even get me started on the

POLAR VORTEX.

Like many Minnesotans, I have fallen victim to the dark and gloomy cloud known as “seasonal depression,” but fear not… here is a list of things to do when in need of (metaphorical) rays of sunshine to get us through the last few months of winter:

A Broke Girl’s Guide to Combatting the Winter Blues

Get outside!

I sold my car a few months ago to avoid the dreaded snow emergencies and save some money… little did I know it would have such a positive effect on my psyche! During past winters, the most fresh air and sun I got was walking up and down my driveway. Now, I have to walk – at the very least – 2 blocks to the bus stop to get anywhere. This guarantees a little dose of sunshine every day, and even the nightly walks are refreshing. Don’t want to take the bus? Bundle up and take a stroll around your block… even light activity will lift your spirits! Let’s be honest… we need to take all the sunshine we can get.

Check the forecast.

The polar vortex has truly improved my habit of checking the weather. Not only will it help you dress appropriately on a daily basis, but it’s very helpful when planing out your week . Sunny or warm days are spent buying groceries and running errands, the coldest days are spent doing laundry, cleaning, or spending “me time.” Getting together with a friend for dinner? Pick the warmest night of the week; even if the warmest night is 2 degrees, it’s better than -20!

Lay off the liquor

As much as you may want to drink in the winter to ease the misery, hangovers can be a major cause of depression. So enjoy a glass of wine… or two, or three, but know and respect your limits during the darkest months and you will be happier (and richer) for it.

Take care

This is a no brainer in our health crazed culture, but it’s true. Opt for healthier and fresher food items. For me, there is nothing like a fresh orange to take me away from winter. I am also more responsible (or paranoid) about illness, so I take vitamin C and echinacea regularly. This also means being active… find a 15 minute work out video on Youtube or try a free week of yoga!

Write a bucket list

glee (8646) Animated Gif on Giphy

Write a list of activities or goals you want to do this winter and schedule at least one activity per week. Great list items include going sledding, trying a new recipe or restaurant, find a fun craft on Pinterest, play scrabble, go to a free museum night or rush tickets at the theater, the possibilities are endless! If you need help thinking outside the box, Groupon.com is a great place to find good deals on interesting activities or events… dogsledding, anyone?

Fake it till you make it… buy a lamp!

Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, as an angsty tween my parents bought me a depression lamp. 10 years later, my lamp is still in perfect working condition sitting beside my vanity. For at least 15 minutes a day, I sit under that lamp while I put on my makeup. How do I know it really helps? Well, I don’t… but I’d like to think so. For those of you who don’t know what a depression lamp is, well there are numerous types out there; even specific bulbs you can buy. These lights mimic natural sunlight and can really come in handy during darker months.

Pamper your skin

Dry skin is, (dry) hands down, my least favorite thing about winter. Suddenly my face looks pubescent, my hands look postmenopausal, and just about anything will cause my skin to break and bleed. What are the easiest and cheapest tricks? Here is a sublist:

  • COLD WATER: It sucks when you’re cold, but washing your hands and face using cool to lukewarm water will pay off. As weird as it is, water dehydrates skin and hair faster than anything… especially when it’s hot. So be kind to your skin and use hot water sparingly.
  • OIL BATHS: When you really need to warm up, run a hot bath and add oil (cooking oil works just fine and is inexpensive.) Not only will you feel relaxed and warm, but your skin will be as slippery as the streets afterwards.
  • GET A HUMIDIFIER: Can’t get a humidifier? Keep glass pans of water on top of your radiators; the heat will naturally evaporate moisture into the air.
  • LOTION & GLOVES: The best treatment for dry hands is to lube up on Aquafore (or lotion/oil/vaseline), and then put on some latex/plastic gloves. This is a great way to revive your hands overnight but I’ve also, at my lowest point, done this in the shower… yes, my hands hurt that bad.

Clean out the closet

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly organized closet, and what better time to do it than when you’re stuck indoors! Blast your favorite pandora station and throw out everything you never wear, then drop your neglected items off at the local thrift store. Even consider picking up a few new pieces on your way out… Badda bing badda boom!

Choose entertainment & choose wisely.enhanced-buzz-28186-1390410191-10

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year… but the second? MOVIE SEASON!!!!! The best movies and shows start in the winter, so use the weather as an excuse to be a couch potato! Catch up on shows you’re behind on (you STILL haven’t seen Breaking Bad?) or challenge yourself to see all the Oscar nominated movies (I’m almost there… stay tuned!) Even football or the olympics… winter can be dull for a lot of people, so the entertainment industry steps up their game for up, isn’t that nice? Also remember how music will especially effect your mood; if you’re apt to seasonal depression, you should play uplifting or relaxing music. And if all your favorite shows or movies are dramatic, dark, or scary, be sure to watch something comedic every once in awhile, even standup! If you’re not feeling cheery, put something uplifting on anyway and it may change your mind.


Arendale Take a vacation (a trip will suffice)

I’m broke as a joke and vacation is out of reach… but a trip? Why not! Take a drive to Stillwater or Duluth for the day, or find a discounted hotel on Groupon! Even if it’s still winter, getting out of your regular environment is a wonderful thing. If you’re a severe arachnaphobe (is that a word?) like me, getting out into nature can be stressful… so taking advantage of winter months to hike and explore outside is a great thing. Live away from home? Go see the family dog and have dinner with your parents! Point is, don’t torture yourself by staying in the same place all winter long.

All in all… stay busy and stay positive!

This list is not groundbreaking, but being honest and aware of your seasonal depression will empower you to make conscience choices to lift your mood. Stay busy and just remember that winter never lasts forever! (Unless you live in Westeros… sorry not sorry for that Game of Thrones reference.)

How do you keep yourself content in the winter?hbo (3858) Animated Gif on Giphy